Analogue TV transmission closes down in Langkawi

LANGKAWI: By the early hours of tomorrow, history will be created in the nation’s broadcasting industry when analogue TV broadcasting will cease services on this island and viewers here will be the first in the country to switch completely to digital TV services.

Analogue TV transmission from Gunung Raya will shut down at 2.30am tomorrow and will be replaced by myFreeview Digital Broadcasting coverage with better broadcast quality, said Azlina Mohd Yusof, an official of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

The move is in line with the government’s plan to migrate from analogue to the digital system by the third quarter of this year.

Langkawi was chosen as the first zone in the country to cease analogue TV broadcast because the island has a robust digital TV ecosystem where digital TV coverage was comprehensive, Azlina said.

Those who stand to immediately benefit from the coverage are low-income earners eligible under the government’s Bantuan Sara Hidup financial aid, who were recently presented with free decoders.

Azlina said Langkawi’s analogue TV transmitter, belonging to RTM and Media Prima would be shut down and replaced by myFreeview Digital TV transmitters.

“Geographically, Langkawi has no hilly areas, so it does not require more TV transmitters. To cover the area, MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd has provided direct-to-home coverage to ensure digital TV broadcast to populated areas. As such, MCMC does not expect to encounter major problems once analogue TV broadcasting ceases in Langkawi, ” she said in an exclusive interview with Bernama.

Azlina also noted that Malaysia was the third country in the Asean region to shut down analogue broadcasting after Brunei in 2017 and Singapore this year.

Azlina said the broadcasting industry was looking forward to closing down analogue broadcasts as its TV transmitters were old with limited capabilities, besides high maintenance of equipment.

After the end of analogue transmissions, the 700MHz waveband could now be used for LTE and 5G services.